Khun Yuam to Mae Hong San

Nov 17, 2022

Our mileage per day has decreased significantly. The past couple of days we rode about 40 miles per day. Today will be more like fifteen. Most of the next week we will move slowly; no more than 80 miles maximum per day. This allows us to see and experience more.

Yesterday we left Khun Yuam and continued towards Mae Hong Son. An hour or so into the ride we pulled off at a “scenic viewpoint” sign.

It is pretty scenic.

There was a small shop advertising strawberry smoothies, so we decided to give it a try. Unfortunately they were out of strawberries and only had lemons, so we had two lemon smoothies.

There were a number of traveler stickers on the wall at the smoothie shop — mostly Thai bikers — so we added a 2RTG sticker.

The smoothie shop also sold stickers, so we bought a couple of Mae Hong Son Loop stickers to add to the collection.

“Tail of The Dragon”, eat your heart out…Four thousand curves and counting. Of course this is over a few hundred miles, but it’s still a fun, twisty road.

”Thirty thousand Baht and Ninety Six kilometers do not make you a biker.”
This sticker wasn’t for sale. It was stuck to the window at the roadside stop. But it speaks volumes. Not five minutes after taking this photo, I walked out to the parking lot to find a tourist trying to pick up a rented Suzuki V-Strom that was laying in a heap behind some parked cars.

Just south of Mae Hong Son we turned off and continued another seven miles down a small side road, the last of it dirt, until the road ended at a fast flowing river. We parked the bike and paid a guy in a boat 20 baht (about 60 cents) to take us across the river to the tiny village of Huay Pu Keng. This is one of three Kayan (or “Karen”) tribal villages near Mae Hong Son.

The village of Huay Pu Keng sits isolated across the Pai River in a section of carved out jungle.

The Kayan villages are often referred to as “Longneck” villages, for obvious reason. They welcome visitors (for a fee) and sell their wares, from scarves and blankets to musical instruments and carvings.

It was incredibly hot and humid at the village (okay, yes, I am from Texas, but this is a different level of humidity. And it’s winter! So I accept that I am a weather wimp.) After our return trip across the Pai we made the seven mile ride back to the main road and turned back south for a short distance to our guest house at Pha Bong. We had hopes to eat dinner at a place our host suggested that was only about one kilometer from our room, but we weren’t able to find it, even with directions from our host, Google Maps, and the army officers at the checkpoint near Pha Bong and two out of three of those dorections even agreed!). So we eventually gave up and rode into Mae Hong Son, and settled into a roadside restaurant for a plate of Chicken Pad Thai, a plate of Chicken Fried Rice with vegetables, some soup, and a large Singha beer, all for under four dollars.

While we had some good meals in Europe last summer, I am certainly not missing the price of dining out in Europe or the States. I’ll take these prices any day, and the fresh food is great too.

2 thoughts on “Khun Yuam to Mae Hong San

  1. “Chicken Fried Rice” – one of my favorites from the roadside vendors! Or anywhere else actually. Also Shrimp Fried Rice. And for breakfast, egg fried rice.

    It is still beautiful there.

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